Book List for American History

Please note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. You are welcome to purchase these books anywhere.

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Necessary Books:

These are the main textbooks used in this course and are needed almost daily.

  • The Bible – You are welcome to use the translation of your choice. Discussion questions and review worksheets are based upon the King James Version unless otherwise noted.
  • The Story of the Thirteen Colonies, by Christine Miller (Nothing New Press: 2016). This book is used in Weeks 1-11.
  • The Story of the Great Republic, by Christine Miller (Nothing New Press: 2006). This book is used in Weeks 12-21.
  • The Century for Young People, by Peter Jennings and Todd Brewster (New York: Doubleday, 1999). This book is used in Weeks 22-36.
  • Map Trek: The Complete Collection (with CD-ROM), by Terri Johnson (Knowledge Quest: 2010). (This book is used in Years 1-4 and American History. This is our recommended edition, but the Map Trek: Ancient History ebook and Map Trek: Atlas editions will also work with our curriculum.)

Optional Resources:

You will build a timeline and a notebook with your children this year. The following resources are not necessary but can simplify things.

Necessary Books for High School:

These additional books are required for high-school students.

  • As America Has Done to Israel, by John McTernan (Whitaker House, 2008)
  • The Roots of American Order, by Russell Kirk (La Salle, IL: Pepperdine University, 1977)

Additional Books & Resources to Borrow or Buy:

All other books are optional. Feel free to substitute other editions (including free copies available online) or entirely different books on the same subject. As you can see, there are more books listed than you will have time to read! Unless you intend to spend several years on American History, do not try to read every book listed. Choose books which most interest your family or that cover subjects which are especially important to you.

Books That Can Be Read at Any Time:

  • 50 Core American Documents, by Christopher Burkett
  • By These Words, by Paul M. Angle
  • Hero Tales from American History, by Henry Cabot Lodge
  • This Country of Ours, by H. E. Marshall
  • True Stories of History and Biography, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans, by Edward Eggleston
  • Woman on the American Frontier, by William W. Fowler
  • The Big Book of American Trivia, by J. Stephen Lang

Suggested Books by Week:

Week 1

  • The Vikings, by Elizabeth Janeway
  • Indians, by Edwin Tunis
  • North American Indian (DK Eyewitness Books), by David S. Murdoch

Week 2

  • The World of Columbus and Sons, by Genevieve Foster
  • Christopher Columbus, by Janet and Geoff Benge
  • The True Story of Christopher Columbus, by Elbridge Brooks

Week 3

  • By Right of Conquest: With Cortez in Mexico, by G.A. Henty
  • The Francis Parkman Reader, by Samuel Eliot Morison
  • Ship, by David Macaulay
  • Empires Lost and Won: The Spanish Heritage in the Southwest, by Albert Marrin
  • Walk the World’s Rim, by Betty Baker

Week 4

  • John Smith Gentleman Adventurer, by C. H. Forbes-Lindsay
  • Pocahontas and the Strangers, by Clyde Robert Bulla
  • A Lion to Guard Us, by Clyde Robert Bulla

Week 5

  • Year Of The Pilgrims, by Genevieve Foster
  • Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure, directed by Duane Barnhart (DVD)
  • Squanto, Friend Of The Pilgrims, by Clyde Robert Bulla
  • Stories of the Pilgrims, by Margaret B. Pumphrey
  • Of Plymouth Plantation, by William Bradford
  • Homes in the Wilderness: A Pilgrim’s Journal of Plymouth Plantation in 1620, by William Bradford
  • Eating the Plates: A Pilgrim Book of Food and Manners, by Lucille Recht Penner

Week 6

  • Skippack School, by Marguerite De Angeli
  • Colonial Craftsmen and the Beginnings of American Industry, by Edwin Tunis
  • The Colonial Cookbook, by Lucille Recht Penner
  • The World of William Penn, by Genevieve Foster
  • William Penn: Liberty and Justice for All, by Janet and Geoff Benge

Week 7

  • Amos Fortune, Free Man, by Elizabeth Yates
  • The Witchcraft of Salem Village, by Shirley Jackson

Week 8

  • Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison, by Lois Lenski
  • The Matchlock Gun, by Walter D. Edmonds
  • Struggle for a Continent: The French and Indian Wars: 1689-1763, by Betsy Maestro
  • The Life and Anecdotes of George Washington for Young Readers, by Mary L. Williamson
  • George Washington’s World, by Joanna Foster
  • Poor Richard, by James Daugherty

Week 9

  • Phoebe the Spy, by Judith Griffin
  • Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times, by Charles Carleton Coffin
  • Guns for General Washington: A Story of the American Revolution, by Seymour Reit

Weeks 10-11

  • Johnny Tremain, by Esther Hoskins Forbes
  • George Washington and the Founding of a Nation, by Albert Marrin
  • The American Revolution, by Bruce Bliven Jr.
  • Daniel Boone, by James Daugherty
  • Daniel Boone: Frontiersman, by Janet and Geoff Benge

Week 12

  • Traitor: the Case of Benedict Arnold, by Jean Fritz
  • The Cabin Faced West, by Jean Fritz
  • The U.S. Constitution for Everyone, by Jerome B. Agel
  • The Story of Eli Whitney, by Jean Lee Latham
  • Building the Capital City, by Marlene Targ Brill

Week 13

  • John Adams, by David McCullough
  • Thomas Jefferson, Father of Democracy, by Vincent Sheean
  • The Lewis and Clark Expedition, by Richard L. Neuberger
  • Pathfinders of the West: Radisson, La Vérendrye, Lewis and Clark, by Agnes C. Laut
  • Meriwether Lewis: Off the Edge of the Map, by Janet and Geoff Benge
  • The Incredible Journey of Lewis & Clark, by Rhoda Blumberg
  • What’s the Deal?: Jefferson, Napoleon, and the Louisiana Purchase, by Rhoda Blumberg
  • Sacajawea, by Joseph Bruchac
  • Robert Fulton Boy Craftsman, by Marguerite Henry
  • Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, by Jean Lee Latham
  • The Journeyman, by Elizabeth Yates

Week 14

  • 1812: The War Nobody Won, by Albert Marrin
  • Sequoyah and the Cherokee Alphabet, by Robert Cwiklik
  • Swift Rivers, by Cornelia Meigs
  • They Loved to Laugh, by Kathryn Worth
  • Sarah Whitcher’s Story, by Elizabeth Yates

Week 15

  • Bound for Oregon, by Jean Van Leeuwen
  • The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life, by Francis Parkman
  • Noah Webster; a Man Who Loved Words, by Elaine Cunningham
  • Davy Crockett: Ever Westward, by Janet and Geoff Benge
  • The Boy in the Alamo, by Margaret Cousins
  • The Coming of the Mormons, by Jim Kjelgaard

Week 16

  • The California Gold Rush, by May McNeer
  • Dragon’s Gate, by Laurence Yep
  • Daily Life in a Southern Plantation 1853, by Paul Erickson
  • The Story of the Pony Express, by Glenn D. Bradley
  • Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman, by Dorothy Sterling
  • Abraham Lincoln’s World, by Genevieve Foster
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom, by Janet and Geoff Benge
  • Commander in Chief: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, by Albert Marrin
  • Little Women (The Whole Story Series), by Louisa May Alcott
  • Clara Barton: Courage Under Fire, by Janet and Geoff Benge

Week 17

  • The Monitor and Merrimac, by R. Conrad Stein
  • The Slopes of War, by Norah Perez
  • The Day Fort Sumter was Fired On: A Photo History, by Jim Haskins
  • Gettysburg, by MacKinlay Kantor

Week 18

  • Robert E. Lee and the Road of Honor, by Hodding Carter
  • With Lee in Virginia, by G. A. Henty

Week 19

  • The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
  • Cowboys, Indians, and Gunfighters: The Story of the Cattle Kingdom, by Albert Marrin
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West, by Dee Brown
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
  • Bonanza Girl, by Patricia Beatty

Week 20

  • Up From Slavery, by Booker T. Washington
  • George Washington Carver: From Slave to Scientist, by Janet and Geoff Benge
  • Little House on the Prairie (series), by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Giants in the Earth, by O. E. Rolvaag

Week 21

  • First Book of the West Indies, by Lanston Hughes
  • A Traveller’s History of the Caribbean, by James Ferguson
  • Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Teddy Roosevelt: American Rough Rider, by John Garraty
  • Banana Wars, by Lester D. Langley
  • First Book of Hawaii, by Samuel Epstein
  • Remarkable Voyages of Captain Cook, by Rhoda Blumberg
  • Captain Cook Explores the South Seas, by Armstrong Sperry
  • Captain James Cook, by Richard Alexander Hough
  • You Wouldn’t Want to Travel with Captain Cook, by Mark Bergin, David Antram
  • Man of Molokai: Life of Father Damien, by Ann Roos
  • Princess Ka’iulani: Hope of a Nation, Heart of a People, by Sharon Linnea
  • Abby: Lost at Sea, by Pamela Walls
  • Coral Island, by R.M. Ballantyne
  • Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann Wyss (Kingston translation is recommended)

Week 22

  • Thomas Edison: Inspiration and Hard Work, by Janet and Geoff Benge
  • Inventors: A Library of Congress Book, by Martin W. Sandler
  • Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters, by Logan Marshall
  • The Great Adventure: Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of Modern America, by Albert Marrin
  • The One Bad Thing About Father, by F. N. Monjo
  • Theodore Roosevelt: An American Original, by Janet and Geoff Benge
  • Orville Wright: The Flyer, by Janet and Geoff Benge
  • Hannah’s Journal: The Story of an Immigrant Girl, by Marissa Moss
  • Dreams in the Golden Country: The Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903, by Kathryn Lasky
  • The Other Side of the Hudson: A Jewish Immigrant Adventure (The Do It Yourself Jewish Adventure), by Kenneth Roseman
  • All-of-a-Kind Family, by Sydney Taylor
  • In His Steps (Barbour Christian Classics), by Charles Sheldon
  • Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers, by Ralph Moody
  • Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls

Week 23

  • The Yanks are Coming: The United States in the First World War, by Albert Marrin
  • World War 1 for Kids: A History with 21 Activities, by R. Kent Rasmussen
  • The Search, by Grace Livingston Hill (high-school historical fiction)
  • World War I: The Rest of the Story and How It Affects You Today, 1870 to 1935 (Uncle Eric Book), by Richard J. Maybury

Week 24

  • The Shiloh Legacy: In My Father’s House, A Thousand Shall Fall, Say to This Mountain, by Bodie Thoene
  • Moonshiner’s Son, by Carolyn Reeder

Week 25

  • Blue Willow, by Doris Gates
  • A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt, by C. Coco De Young
  • Smoky the Cowhorse, by Will James
  • Six Days in October: The Stock Market Crash of 1929: A Wall Street Journal Book for Children, by Karen Blumenthal
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Week 26

  • Norman Rockwell: Storyteller With A Brush, by Beverly Gherman

Week 27

  • The Day Pearl Harbor Was Bombed: A Photo History, by George Sullivan
  • Douglas MacArthur: What Greater Honor, by Janet and Geoff Benge
  • The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom (Note: We recommend the Young Reader’s Edition, by Corrie ten Boom and Elizabeth and John Sherril, edited by Lonnie DuPont, for ages 9-12.)
  • World War II: The Rest of the Story and How It Affects You Today, 1930 to September 11, 2001 (Uncle Eric Book), by Richard J. Maybury

Week 28

  • Across a War-Tossed Sea, by L.M. Elliott
  • The Chosen, by Chaim Potok

Week 29

  • Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, by Russell Freedman
  • Keeping Score, by Linda Sue Park
  • The Zion Chronicles series, by Bodie and Brock Thoene (5 books for high-school students, beginning with The Gates of Zion)
  • The Masters of Deceit, by J. Edgar Hoover

Week 30

  • Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, by Russell Freedman
  • Keeping Score, by Linda Sue Park

Week 31

  • First Book of Space Travel, by Jeanne Bendick
  • The Cross and the Switchblade, by David Wilkerson

Week 32

  • America and Vietnam: The Elephant and the Tiger, by Albert Marrin

Week 35

  • Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side, by Janet and Geoff Benge

Week 36

  • The Day the Sky Fell: A History of Terrorism, by Milton Meltzer
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